Windsor Humanist Society

February 27, 2008

Haligonian Isolates ‘Super-Bug’ Microbe

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A Halifax researcher has made promising findings in the fight against one of the superbugs infecting cities and hospitals across Canada.

MRSA under Electron MicroscopeDavid Jakeman, a scientist at Dalhousie University, has isolated a microbe that appears to battle methicillin-resistant staphylococcus (MRSA), a form of staph infection resistant to most antibiotics.

David Jakeman said yesterday the results are sufficiently promising that his lab wants to repeat the experiments as well as evaluate other compounds with similar structures.

“It’s all very preliminary at the moment,” he cautioned.

“Some of those natural products we’ve isolated, we’ve shown they have good activity against MRSA and that’s why we’re exploring more fully the compounds that these bacteria produce,” David Jakeman said.

The need for a new antibiotic aimed at curtailing the infection appears to be growing.

Superbugs such as MRSA have become a modern-day scourge, killing between 8,000 and 12,000 Canadians annually. The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta estimated 94,000 cases of MRSA in the U.S. in 2005, 19,000 of them resulting in fatalities.

Across Canada the infection is spreading. A medical study published this month said that the number of people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and carrying the superbug has jumped 150 per cent in the past six years.

Calgary Health Region statistics reported an increase in the infection, from 588 people with MRSA in 2006 to 1,020 in 2007.

And Windsor health officials said hospital-acquired superbug infections— including MRSA — are up 35 per cent over the last eight months.

The rise in the infection has prompted the federal government to back an estimated $1-million program designed to educate front-line health-care workers about the importance of regular hand-washing. The program launches April 1.

Phil Hassen, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in Edmonton, said every breakthrough is helpful, but that in the short-term they need to continue to emphasize such practices as hand-washing.

“Everything helps,” he said. “It could be a great solution for a period, but we have other things on the table that are going to create problems for us and we just have to find different ways (to deal with superbugs).”

David Jakeman warned the cure is still years and millions of dollars off. His lab-brewed microbe would still need to undergo toxicity tests, animal testing and human trails before making it to market.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 27, 2008 article by Charles Mandel in The Montréal Gazette

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February 25, 2008

Shi’ite Muslims March Through Windsor’s Streets in ‘purely religious’ Celebration; 40 Marchers Killed Celebrating Same ‘purely religious’ Festival in Sunni vs Shari’ah Religious Hot Spot south of Baghdad

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Hundreds of members of Windsor’s Shi’ite Muslim community marched Sunday in the name of freedom and Getting Into That Holiday Spirit in Karbalajustice to mark the martyrdom of their founding religious leader, Imam Hussain, 1,400 years ago.

The procession, which began at the An-Noor Islamic School at 1480 Janette Ave. with participants symbolically beating their chests in time to a drum, wound through downtown neighbourhoods. Picking up marchers along the way, it ended at city hall, where speeches and prayers were said in the name of Imam Hussain.

Abdul Bazzi, vice-president of Windsor’s Hussain Foundation, explained that Imam Hussain was the grandson of the prophet Muhammad. He and 17 members of his family and 72 supporters, were beheaded by the dictator Yazid in Karbala. On the 40th day after his martyrdom, his son, Imam Zaynul Abideen and surviving family members returned from captivity to visit his grave.

Ever since, Mr. Bazzi explained, the holy day of Ashoouraa and the 40th day of Ashouraa have been remembered all over the world by Shi’ites. He said the Sunday march was the fourth consecutive year that local Shi’ite Muslims have marked the Ashouraa with a procession.

“He is our symbol of justice and this is the commemoration of his death,” said Mr. Bazzi. “This has nothing to do with the politics of today. It is purely religious. Shia Muslims do this all over the word, from Lebanon to Toronto and Montreal. Everywhere.”

Participant Hassan Soboh added that Hussain is a martyr of primary importance to Shi’ites, but his message of justice and freedom in the face of violent oppression is an inspiration to all, regardless of faith.

“It’s not only religion but also about justice,” he said. “He had a message, not only for Muslims, but of peace and freedom for all mankind.”

Mr Bazzi said there are now about 10,000 Shi’ite Muslims living in the Windsor and Essex County area.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 25, 2008 article by Don LaJoie in The Windsor Star

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At least 40 killed, 60 wounded at refreshment tent south of Baghdad

A suicide bomber blew himself up among Shi’ite pilgrims taking a break in a refreshment tent yesterday during their days-long march to a shrine for a major religious gathering. The blast killed at least 40 people and wounded 60, making it one of the deadliest this year.

Here We Come A Wassailling on AshouraIt was the second attack of the day against pilgrims travelling to the holy city of Karbala, 80 kilometres south of Baghdad.

Hours earlier, extremists attacked another group with guns and grenades in the predominantly Sunni Baghdad neighbourhood of Dora, killing three and wounding 36, police said.

The area is located within the Triangle of Death. Analysts generally attribute this area’s high level of violence to the tension from the mixed Sunni Muslim and Shia’ah Muslim population.

The suicide bomber detonated a vest packed with metal ball bearings on a two-lane highway near a residential area through which more than 40,000 pilgrims had passed earlier in the day, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Most of the casualties were hit by the ball bearings, said a doctor at a hospital in the city of Hilla, where many of the wounded were taken. A wounded woman there said the attack happened in a tent where pilgrims were offered refreshments.

“When we reached the area people invited us into a tent to take some rest and have some food. When we entered, there was a huge ball of fire and we saw people lying on the ground,” said Um A’amr, who was being treated for multiple wounds. Tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police have been deployed for the Arbain festival after suspected Sunni Arab insurgents killed 149 pilgrims on their way to Karbala for the event last year, one of the worst spasms of violence since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Millions of Shiite pilgrims are expected in Karbala for Arbain this week, which commemorates the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashoura, a religious ritual that marks the death of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson in 680.

Karbala Police Chief Raid Shakir Jawdat has said 40,000 police officers and military troops were being deployed to prevent attacks. At least 4 million pilgrims were already in the city, he said.

Mohammad Mohsin Abbas, 35, said he was walking from Baghdad’s main Shi’ite district of Sadr City and decided not to stop at the tent. He had just passed it when the blast occurred shortly before 3 p.m.

“Instantly I found myself knocked on the ground, unable to turn my head around to see what had happened,” he said from his hospital bed after undergoing surgery in Hilla to remove shrapnel. “While they were transporting me to hospital, I saw that the tent had disappeared from the scene.”
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 25, 2008 article by Kim Gamel over The Associated Press

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February 23, 2008

Turkey’s President Allows Head Scarves on College Campuses

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Turkey’s president signed into law Friday a constitutional amendment allowing women to wear head scarves on college campuses. The move eases a prohibition on religious attire that had been among the founding measures ofHijabthe modern, secular Turkish republic.

President Abdullah Gul said in a statement that the change is also a step toward ensuring equal treatment under the law for all Turkish citizens and does not contradict the tenets of the almost nine-decade-old Turkish republic.

Parliament, dominated by President Gul’s Islamic-oriented Justice and Development Party, had approved the amendment Feb. 9.

Although more than 99 percent of Turks are Muslim, founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk instituted laws and other measures in the 1920s to discourage Islamic attire as part of his drive for a more Western and secular Turkey.

Turkish women who cover their hair because of their Islamic beliefs say the restrictions have blocked generations of religiously conservative women from higher education. The government has promised to interpret the measure as allowing only head scarves tied beneath the chin — a style Turks consider more traditional than Islamic.

Turkey’s military sees itself as the guardian of Kemal Ataturk’s secular principles. In the spring of 2007, generals objected to President Gul becoming president in part because his wife wore a head scarf. Their objections forced early elections in the summer that saw President Gul’s party greatly increase its representation in parliament.

Friday’s signing was overshadowed by Turkish ground operations against Kurdish guerrillas based in northern Iraq. Such offensives have been pushed by Turkey’s military and by a nationalist party whose alliance with President Gul’s party on the head scarf measure ensured its passage.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 23, 2008 article by Ellen Knickmeyer in The Washington Post

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February 21, 2008

Italian Judge Receives One-Year Jail Term For Refusing To Enter Courtrooms with Crucifixes

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An Italian judge campaigning against the presence of crosses in public buildings on Thursday got his third conviction for refusing to enter courtrooms unless crucifixes were removed.

Judge Tosti reluctantly at work before his suspensionA court in this central Italian city gave Judge Luigi Tosti a suspended one-year jail term and banned him from holding public office for the same period.

Judge Tosti, 59, is currently serving the second of two similar bans for refusing to perform his duties in the Marche town of Camerino.

On Thursday Judge Tosti refused to take part in proceedings unless the cross in the courtroom was taken down and ”the secular nature of the assembly restored”.

His lawyer lodged an appeal claiming that ”that one-metre by half-metre object, in itself, invalidates the hearing’‘.

”That doesn’t mean offending Christians. But removing the crucifix means removing a privilege so that places of law can become truly secular and neutral”.

The Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the Supreme Council of Magistrates, removed Tosti from his post in February 2006 and cut off his pay because of his ”unjustifiable behaviour”.

The decision, which re-ignited debate on crucifixes in public buildings, came after Judge Tosti was convicted by a criminal court a month before.

Crucifixes are not mandatory but customary in Italy’s public buildings.

Catholicism is not Italy’s state religion and the separation of Church and State is set down by the postwar Constitution and mandated by a 1984 Concordat that ended most of the Catholic Church’s privileges.

In practice, with Catholicism being such a part of Italy’s cultural identity, local bodies decide whether they want crosses in the courthouse.

Similar arrangements are in place in other public buildings – most notably schools, where there have been a raft of polemics.

Judge Tosti first made headlines in April 2004 when he threatened to place symbols of his own Jewish faith, like the menorah candle-holder, in his Camerino court.

He later changed his mind after The Union of Italian Muslims (UMI) went to Camerino to demonstrate their support for his initiative.

The Union of Italian Muslims is headed by Adel Smith who for some time has been in the public spotlight for his campaign to have crosses removed from schools and hospitals.

In 2003 Mr. Smith won a court order for the removal of crosses at the school his children attended. The order was later reversed after a nationwide protest.

Judge Tosti insists that defendants have the constitutional right to refuse to be tried under the symbol of the cross.

The Constitution, he says, establishes the separation of Church and State and gives equal status to all religions.

This means that judges and lawyers can refuse to perform their duties under the symbol of the cross which would violate a defendant’s right to a fair trial and counsel, he argues.

However, the Constitutional Court ruled in December 2004 that crosses should stay in courts and classrooms.

The Court did not give a juridical explanation for its ruling, and many felt it had washed its hands of a political hot potato.

If it had upheld the separation of Church and State, the high court would have sparked outraged reactions from conservatives who were already incensed when some schools dropped Christmas plays and creches to avoid hurting the feelings of Muslim children.

The row even prompted a reaction from Pope John Paul II, who stressed that Christmas cribs were a part of Italy’s Catholic heritage.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 21, 2008 article by over ANSA

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February 20, 2008

Saudi Arabia’s Religious Police Jail Woman In Starbucks For “..sitting with a man who is not a relative & exchanging words & laughter with him..”

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Saudi Arabia’s religious police are under attack again over what critics consider heavy-handed enforcement of the country’s gender-segregation policies and other strict social rules.

Muslim Woman Drinking CoffeeThis time the case involves an American businesswoman who went with a male colleague to a Starbucks in the Saudi capital and ended up in jail for sitting in a coffee shop with a man who is not a close relative.

The brief detention of the woman, identified only as Yara, drew headlines in Saudi media, prompting one writer to call the Feb. 4 arrest “an abduction.” A local rights group called for an explanation from the religious police. A senior U.N. official described it as “harassment.”

Responding to the criticism, the religious police issued a statement published Tuesday by Saudi newspapers that said officers were justified in their actions.

Islamic law does not allow police to ignore the prohibition against a woman “sitting with a man who is not a relative and exchanging words and laughter with him,” said the statement by Abdullah al-Shithri of The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

The commission added that it reserved the right to take legal action against Abdullah al-Alami, a columnist for the newspaper Al-Watan, who accused the religious police of abducting Yara.

Yara’s story, which first appeared in the English-language Arab News, is one of a string of incidents that have provoked a public outcry against the commission.

Last year, members of the religious police were put on trial in two separate cases, each involving the death of a man in custody. Judges dropped charges against them, but the unprecedented trials provoked calls for reforming the religious police. Controversy over the police also flared last year when a woman who had been gang-raped by several men was sentenced to six months in prison and 90 lashes for being in a car with an unrelated man.

The religious police enforce the kingdom’s strict Islamic lifestyle. They patrol public places to ensure that women are covered and not wearing makeup, men and women don’t mingle, shops close five times a day for prayers, and men go to a mosque to worship.

While many Saudis say they support the idea of having the commission, they also say it should be regulated.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 20, 2008 article by Donna Abu-Nasr over The Associated Press

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February 14, 2008

Private Member’s Bill Would Protect “Unborn Victims of Crime”

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A Conservative MP wants Canadian laws to change to recognize fetuses as separate victims when killed or harmed in attacks on pregnant women.

Ken EppKen Epp spoke at a news conference Thursday to shore up support for his private member’s bill slated to be put to a vote on March 5.

Opponents have argued that the bill reopens the abortion debate as to whether a fetus is a human being.

But Mr. Epp says the proposed unborn victims of crime act is constitutional and would not change the Criminal Code in any way that would undermine women’s legal access to abortion.

The purpose of the bill, said Mr. Epp, is to fill an important gap in Canadian law that allows the killer of a pregnant woman to be charged in the mother’s death but not the fetus’s.

Canadian law does not recognize fetuses as human beings until they are born alive.

Mr. Epp says the proposed act is supported by people of all political stripes because it only focuses on criminal attacks when a third party harms or kills a fetus.

But Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada spokeswoman Joyce Arthur said judges and parole boards can already take the injury or death of a fetus into account.  (Read The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s response here.)

The bill would create redundant protections, Ms. Arthur said, and it is being promoted by anti-abortion groups.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 14, 2008 article  on The CBC News website

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Judge Says ‘Maintain Life-Support” – Rules Doctors Must Take All Measures To Keep Man Alive Pending Trial

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Percy Golubchuk and sister Miriam Geller praised yesterday’s decision by a judge to keep their father alive.  Doctors wanting to pull life-support from the 84-year-old Winnipeg man have been blocked by a court ruling and told to do everything necessary to keep him alive.

Percy Golubchuk ~ Miriam GellerIn issuing an order to continue an injunction preventing doctors from taking Samuel Golubchuk off a ventilator and feeding tube, Justice Perry Schulman of Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench said if Mr. Golubchuk was allowed to die before a full trial is held on the issue, “no relief at trial could adequately compensate him or his family for the loss.

“If the injunction is continued, the plaintiff may, during his lifetime, be afforded an opportunity to be heard fully on his legal, religious and charter positions,” Justice Schulman said on Wednesday.

“I think that most reasonably informed members of the public would support my finding on the questions of irreparable harm and balance of convenience.”

Justice Schulman said he wants to see the matter come to trial “as quickly as possible.”
Mr. Golubchuk’s son, Percy, and daughter, Miriam Geller, expressed relief after hearing the judge’s decision.

“God is with us,” Ms. Geller said. “This is for all the people in Canada and the world.”

Percy Golubchuk said “doctors are not always right.”

“God is the main doctor.”

When asked what their father would say about the decision, Percy Golubchuk said “he would be very proud of us — he would say ‘way to go.'”

Mr. Golubchuk has been treated in the intensive care unit of Grace Hospital since October after coming there suffering from pneumonia and pulmonary hypertension.

But after doctors decided further treatment would be futile — and Mr. Golubchuk’s family disagreed, saying pulling life-support is against their Orthodox Jewish religious beliefs — the case landed in court.

The medical dispute is being followed by people from around the world with even an online petition on the Internet garnering more than 2,800 signatures of support just days after being set up. And when you Google ‘Golubchuk’ and ‘petition,’ 421 websites pop up.

The family’s lawyer, Neil Kravetsky, used Justice Schulman’s decision to criticize The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba who just two weeks ago issued guidelines to physicians giving them the right to pull life-support.

“I think the college was irresponsible,” Neil Kravetsky said.

“They better smarten up before they issue directives that may border on criminal.

“This decision means any doctor who comes to that hospital has to maintain (Golubchuk’s) life.”

But Dr. Terry Babick, deputy registrar of The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, said the college won’t be reviewing its end-of-life guidelines in light of the judge’s decision.

According to the college’s new guidelines on withdrawing life-support, released in January, the final decision to end support lies with the physician.

Terry Babick said the guidelines allow a four-day window giving families a chance to seek other counsel and in rare cases, a court injunction.

If patients or families are dissatisfied with a physician, Dr. Babick said they also have the option of filing a formal complaint to the college.

“At the end of the day, as happened here, the family appealed to the courts,” Dr. Babick said. “So where there is disagreement in rare circumstances, that’s why we have the courts.”

Pat Murphy, a medical ethicist based in St. Boniface General Hospital, said the court’s decision upholds the idea that physicians must seek mediation before ending treatment. She said it’s essential for patients and doctors to build consensus instead of pitting patients and their physicians “against one another.”

More importantly, Ms. Murphy said, the judge clarified that there is no law that gives doctors the right to have the final say on when to end a life.

“It’s not settled in law that doctors have the final say in these matters,” she said.

There are no Canada-wide guidelines on withdrawing life-support, and the practice differs between most hospitals and provinces.

Click here to download Justice Schulman’s decision.

New College of Physicians & Surgeons’ of Manitoba Guidelines for doctors wanting to withdraw life-support:

In the event a patient could achieve the “minimum” quality of life but the physician concludes the treatment should be withdrawn, as in Mr. Golubchuk’s case, the doctor must first get a second opinion from another physician.

If the second physician agrees treatment should be withdrawn and the family still disagrees, physicians must offer a time-limited trial of treatment or involve a patient advocate or mediator to help resolve the process.

If no consensus can be reached and the doctor concludes life-support should be withdrawn, the physician must provide the patient’s family with written or verbal notice 96 hours before life-support is stopped.

The guidelines apply to all Manitoba physicians and came into effect Feb. 1.

Backgrounder On Mr. Golubchuk’s Situation:
Four years ago Mr. Golubchuk fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head, sustaining injuries that resulted in his becoming both physically and mentally disabled. Confined to a wheel chair, he requires assistance for the most basic of needs. Communication with the outside world has been a challenge for him since he can no longer speak more than a word or two at a time, and even then usually only in response to others.

When living in a long-term care facility, he hadn’t been confined to his bed. His family visited with him, takes him on outings, and bringing him home for holidays and other family celebrations. It’s not always easy for outsiders to tell how he feels about these excursions, but his family says they always can. Every now and then he manages a smile. Recently, when his family brought him bowling, he even tried to push a ball down the lane. Some might say that he wasn’t very successful in his attempt, but not his children. For them, they say small acts like this bring the greatest joy.

Last October, Mr. Golubchuk got sick. Although not serious at first, it quickly developed into a life-threatening case of pneumonia and he was moved to Winnipeg’s Salvation Army Grace Hospital, where his life hung in the balance for some time. With treatment, he beat the pneumonia.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 14, 2008 article by Kevin Rollason & Jen Skerritt in The Winnipeg Free Press

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Premier Orders Review of “Lord’s Prayer” at Beginning of Legislative Sessions

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The Lord’s Prayer, recited by the Speaker at the beginning of each Ontario legislative session, doesn’t reflect the province’s diversity, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday as he called for a new approach to begin daily proceedings.

Jesus Getting This Whole Mess Started!Premier McGuinty said it was time to “move beyond” the Lord’s Prayer to a more inclusive custom that better reflects Ontario’s multiculturalism.

In a letter to opposition leaders, the premier called for an all-party legislative committee that would seek input from citizens and religious groups before making recommendations to the legislature.

According to the 2006 census, one-third of Ontario’s population was born outside Canada.

In the Toronto region, more than half the population was born in another country.

Premier McGuinty said the province has not changed its daily recitation since 1969, while other jurisdictions have moved to adjust their customs to better reflect changing times.

The premier denied the changes were proposed to smooth tensions left over from election rhetoric that saw faith-based school funding hotly debated.

“No, like the modernization of the house itself, I think it’s a reflection of the times,” Premier McGuinty said. “We’re much more than just Protestants and Catholics today. We have all the world’s faiths represented here. If they’re represented outside the legislature, I think we ought to find a way to ensure that their diversity is reflected inside the legislature as well.”

Earlier this week, the Liberals proposed to start daily proceedings in the upcoming session at 9:30 a.m. instead of the current 1:30 p.m., while eliminating evening sittings to make the legislature more family friendly.

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory said his party was open to looking at new morning customs but Premier McGuinty’s letter implied the Lord’s Prayer would be replaced altogether.

“That is completely unacceptable to us,” John Tory said. “Part of respecting the tradition of the legislature is keeping the Lord’s Prayer. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be open to other prayers being added.”

New Democratic House Leader Peter Kormos said the NDP would also take part in the discussions, but warned the premier might see a movement to remove any reference to religion.

“The premier is trying to show how pluralistic he’s prepared to be when it comes to faith communities,” Peter Kormos said. “But I think he’d better be careful because there are going to be folks from the humanist perspective who are going to argue well, if you open that box, then let’s not have any prayer at all.”

A federal all-party committee agreed on the wording for a new nonsectarian prayer for the House of Commons in 1994.

It was first used in 2004 while the Senate formalized rules around prayer in 1991.

Newfoundland and Labrador has no daily prayer while Québec has a daily moment of reflection.

Alberta uses a selection of non-denominational prayers and on certain occasions uses special prayers.

In British Columbia the practice is to rotate among members who can use a set list of non-denominational prayers.

Saskatchewan has used the same prayer, which was established by an all-party committee in 1931, while Manitoba also has a daily prayer that was established years ago.

The Speaker of the Nova Scotia assembly recites a prayer written in 1972 followed by the Lord’s Prayer.

In New Brunswick’s legislature the same prayer has been recited since 1801 by a chaplain or the Speaker, followed by the Lord’s Prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer is also recited in P.E.I.’s legislature before doors are open to the public. Prayers are also offered for the Queen and members of the legislative assembly.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 14, 2008 article by Jordana Huber in The National Post

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February 6, 2008

U of Newcastle Profs Create Human Embryo Providing Treatment For Mitochondria-Centered Genetic Disorder

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Scientists in Britain claimed a first Tuesday, saying they have created a human embryo using DNA from one man and two women, which they say could help provide treatment for genetic diseases.

Researchers from Newcastle University in northeast England used 10 embryos which were DNAunsuitable for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and replaced faulty mitochondria cells from the mother with undamaged cells from a female donor.

The research was disclosed last week in parliament’s upper House of Lords but has not yet been published officially in scientific journals, the university said Tuesday.

The embryos were developed for five days and the transplant on one of them was deemed a success.

Mitochondria play a vital role in the body’s energy supply. However, if they are damaged they can cause a series of serious neuro-muscular diseases, liver failure, blindness, deafness or strokes.

“The research aims to tackle and prevent a group of relatively uncommon but really severe diseases which affect the nervous system and muscles,” said Professor Patrick Chinnery, a Newcastle University neurogenetic expert.

“Ultimately in many … cases they are fatal and there is no treatment. The aim is to develop ways of preventing them from being passed on from the mother to her offspring.”

In five to 10 years’ time, transplanting “good” mitochondria could be done within days of a routine IVF, he said.

The baby would only inherit the mother and father’s characteristics, as the transplanted mitochondria from the donor would not have any effect on the child’s personality or appearance, the scientists said.

Josephine Quintavelle, of the pro-life group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “We should not be messing around with the building blocks of life.

“To experiment on a human child in this way is absolutely unforgivable.”
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 5, 2008 article via Agence France-Presse

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WSO Receives More Kudos – 2008 Juno Nomination

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Windsor Symphony Orchestra has been nominated for a 2008 Juno Award for its recording of Peter and the Wolf.

Johh Morris & Colin Foelm at CD relesaseThe nomination is for best children’s album of the year. The Juno awards will be announced on national TV on April 6.

“This is a spiritual shot in the arm for everyone involved,” said WSO conductor John Morris Russell.

The recording features narration of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf by actor Colm Feore, who grew up in Windsor, and a new work, Last Minute Lulu, by University of Windsor composer Brent Lee, narrated by the author, Windsor-based Christopher Paul Curtis.

“This is the heart and soul of what music can mean to a community,” Mr. Russell said. The Prokofiev work was recently added to the program for WSO’s school concerts, starting April 8.

“That means 5,000 kids will hear their own Juno-nominated orchestra playing Peter and the Wolf,” Mr. Russell said. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.”

WSO board president Vicky Kyriaco-Wilson said: “This validates our top-notch educational program. Windsor should be proud to have this orchestra and someone of John Morris Russell’s calibre in their midst.”

This is the orchestra’s first Juno nomination. It was nominated for a Gemini Award in 2004 for its performance on a CBC-TV Christmas special.

In 2007, WSO was named orchestra winner of a major award from The Vida Peene Fund for Artistic Excellence. The orchestra is also a two-time recipient of the Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts.

Rob Gold, WSO marketing director, said the recording has Windsor written all over it, from the fact it was recorded at the Capitol Theatre, to the involvement of Messieurs Lee, Curtis and Feore, whose mother Sally Feore, works in WSO’s administrative offices.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Neil, after a February 6, 2008 article by Ted Shaw in The Windsor Star

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